CLAYTON UTZ’s new appointments to the Inter-Pacific Bar Association are evidence, the firm said, of its commitment to legal practice in the Asia Pacific region.
A recent conference of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) in Seoul saw Clayton Utz corporate partner Jim FitzSimons appointed the association’s vice president. FitzSimons will assume his role in 2006, when Sydney hosts the annual conference of the IPBA. He will join colleagues Angela Flannery and major projects partner and arbitrator Doug Jones at the IPBA.
“Working through the IPBA and assisting practitioners in the region to have their voices heard more strongly on the global stage helps demonstrate our commitment to the region,” FitzSimons said.
Membership of the IPBA was useful for firms based in only one or two jurisdictions, he said. The association’s emphasis on providing technical knowledge and education to firms about operating in different jurisdictions was a benefit for these firms. This was particularly relevant as they began operating outside their own jurisdictions or when clients came into their jurisdiction.
Additionally, for firms without the large networks that typically come from being part of an international firm, membership of the association’s framework would be useful, he said.
Corporate counsel could gain from networking opportunities, FitzSimons said. “The IPBA also has a corporate counsel forum and provides a convenient way for corporate counsel to get together with their external counsel from around the region without having to travel to multiple destinations.”
As well, the IPBA provided educational opportunities, even for more experienced practitioners. “As an IT/IP lawyer I see the increasing engagement of multiple jurisdictions as very encouraging at the global level. There is an exchange of ideas. People learn things,” he said.
“Currently the IPBA represents just under 70 different countries ranging from the US and Japan to the developing regions of Asia… [The association] offers these countries the chance to be not only exposed to the latest developments in the law as seen by lawyers from larger economies but to also have their voice and their issues heard.”
The May 2006 conference in Sydney would provide an overview for Australian lawyers on how dynamic legal practice is in the Asian region, FitzSimons said.